Three ways you can upgrade your cyber security to defend against phishing attacks

Safeguarding against cyber attacks is paramount for protecting the integrity and security of your business. Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details. The sender disguises themselves as a trustworthy entity through electronic communication channels, which can make them difficult to detect if you are unfamiliar with this form of cyber threat. 

With around 3.4 billion spam emails being sent every day, upgrading your cybersecurity measures to defend against these threats requires a multi-faceted approach that makes use of technological solutions, employee education and proactive risk management strategies. 

Here, we explore some key ways you can upgrade your cyber security to protect your data.

What are phishing emails?

Phishing attacks come in various forms, but the most common phishing threat for businesses happens via email. Scammers use social prompts to manipulate users into divulging confidential information, will often impersonate reputable organizations and use urgent language and calls to action to prey on impulsive human nature. Phishing emails can be surprisingly sophisticated, and can even link to entire web pages or login forms that may appear legitimate at first glance to an unsuspecting employee.

Email filtering

The best way to tackle the threat of phishing is by taking preventative measures. Ideally, you’ll need a robust email filtering system that’s able to detect threats, to identify and alert you of suspicious emails before they reach your employees’ inboxes. This massively reduces the risk of human error causing a giveaway of confidential information or the accidental opening of a virus. A reliable email system should have built-in anti-phishing tools that can analyze website URLs and scan attachments for potentially malicious content, offering an extra layer of security.

Employee training

Educating your employees about the telltale signs of phishing attacks by providing regular training sessions on cybersecurity best practices is an essential component of your defense strategy. You should encourage your team members to scrutinize incoming emails for any irregularities, and take the time to slowly assess the emails’ authority before clicking on any links or downloading attachments.

Enforcing multi-factor authentication across your platforms and online workstations, such as one-time passwords sent by SMS, adds an additional barrier against unauthorized access – even if the login credentials have been compromised. In addition to keeping your team up to date with the latest cybersecurity methods, as a business, you should run regular security audits to identify any vulnerabilities in your infrastructure. By using a combination of these techniques, you can foster a vigilant work culture against phishing attacks and other cyber threats. 

Monitoring systems

There are a number of innovative monitoring systems available which can help detect suspicious activities throughout your business communication channels. Being able to fall back onto a well-established and effective incident response plan is crucial in the event of a phishing attack – as the faster you act, the more likely you are to mitigate the impact on your business.

By regularly reviewing and refining your procedures with the help of the data from your monitoring system, you can be ready to address any evolving vulnerabilities or threats. This should allow you to identify, contain and rectify any consequences of a phishing attack at every potential stage. 

Maintaining trust

As cyberthreats continue to threaten our online security, upgrading your defense systems is imperative to maintain the trust of your stakeholders, clients and team members. By adopting a proactive approach to training, education and prevention, you can work to diminish the risk of phishing attacks and boost the overall cybersecurity measures within your business.

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Steve Ross
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